Tag Archives: nice guys

Be A Man, Not A Jackass

9 Aug

Hi everyone. I wanted to start this post off with a brief introduction. My name is Alex Girard. I’m a friend of Ali’s, one of her students and an occasional thug for the SAFE class.

Thanks Alex, for sharing your thoughts! Alex will be interning at The Daily Show this fall. We'll miss him in Madison!!

If you’re a regular reader of this or other female empowerment/feminist blogs, the concept of a man writing a piece for such a blog probably doesn’t seem like such a foreign idea; just look at the Blogroll on the right side of this page and you’ll see blogs like “Men Stopping Rape” and “The Good Men Project.” It’s certainly not a new concept, but I’m bringing it up because in my personal experience there still seems to be a broad class of men who confuse feminism with misandry, and any male contribution to gender equality discussions to be either some sort of “betrayal” or glad-handing sycophancy.

For the former, it seems that there are men who take the phrase “Bros before Hoes” as a broad social philosophy. Bros, mainly, who are coincidentally the same people who would use the term “Hoes” to refer to women. Maybe they think it sounds like a good idea because it rhymes.

Now to be fair, I’m not referring to the phrase as it’s ostensibly supposed to be used. Problematic wording aside, the original, idealized meaning of the phrase is that your relationship with your girlfriend or wife shouldn’t cut your male friends out of your life. Fair enough, but here I’m taking it here more literally as like the adult personification of throwing a “No Girls Allowed” sign on your clubhouse. Aside from Augusta, I mean.

They make it sound like normal, respectful relationships with women are some draining force that beats the masculinity out of you. The stereotypical “man of the house,” overbearing “macho” masculinity that’s fortunately been falling more and more out of cultural favor.

For an example, I was listening in on a conversation about relationships and people were discussing the often suggested date of having your lady friend over and cooking dinner for her or together. Maybe it’s because my dad did all the cooking when I was growing up, but I’ve always felt an impetus to learn how to cook well, and I enjoy dates like these because it gives me chance to show off that I’m more well-rounded than a sitcom character (which is more than I can say about some roommates I’ve had).

Turns out, nope, big mistake. Cooking dinner for a woman shows her that you’re willing to do anything for her, and that means the rest of the relationship is going to be her walking all over you. Of course you’d never want to do something nice for someone you like unless it’s because you’re a doormat. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from the conversation.

Now honestly, I’ve heard this date recommended so many times that the objection to it was probably more of a half-assed effort to sound different rather than an honest argument for “willingness to cook” as a sign of weakness. At least I’d hope so. I brought this up to a female friend who told me, and I quote, “That’s bullshit. Knowing how to cook and clean will get you a girl so fast.” I’ll take her word for it.

More commonly when I hear men give each other relationship advice, they’ll recommend (and this is a line I’ve heard verbatim multiple times) being an asshole because “women like assholes.” I was under the impression that nobody likes assholes; that’s why they get called assholes. The issue here is of course a confusion between being a jerk and being a confident person.

I’ve kind of gone all over the place here, but the basic point I’m trying to make is that being nice doesn’t make you a doormat, it means you’re nice; being an asshole doesn’t mean you’re confident, it means you’re an asshole; and being macho doesn’t make you a man. That makes you an asshole too.

“Nice Guys” Should Finish First

16 Feb

Sometimes people misinterpret me as a man-hater.  Not. True. I love men! I work with some of the most wonderful men in the world. These men volunteer their time as practice attackers for my self defense classes. These men respect people for who they are and what they do regardless of gender. These men would NEVER want to make a woman feel uncomfortable. That’s why these men would never approach a woman they didn’t know. They would rather die than be mistaken for a creeper.

What a dilemma.

To (straight) women who are ready to give up on men: Don’t! Don’t give up, but do change your dating strategy.

I once asked a wonderful group of proven “nice guys” how they approach women. Almost in unison, they quickly responded, “We don’t!” So, where does that leave the women who are waiting for some nice guy to sweep them off their feet? I’m sorry to disappoint you, ladies, but the fact is you need to approach them. It’s 2011, it will be ok. I’ve dated plenty of really nice guys. Do you know how many of them asked me out? Zero. Do you know how many turned me down when I asked them out? Zero. You can do it. Nice guys are not scary. Even if they are not interested for some reason, you can count on them to turn you down nicely!

More obviously, if you really want a nice guy but always go for the cocky jerks– stop it. There is nothing attractive about disrespectful men.

To nice guys: You are the real men.  It takes strength and courage to stand up for what is right with so little recognition or rewards. I know you guys take a lot of crap for being nice and respecting women, and that is so wrong. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with that and I thank you for staying true to who you are. It will pay off in the long run.

Now, go out there and ask out that person who has caught your attention! Don’t worry! The very fact that you are concerned about coming off as a creep means that you definitely won’t. All you have to do is be yourself because you are the best kind of man. Don’t try to be charming or suave. Do introduce yourself and strike up a conversation about neutral topics. Don’t lead with, “Can I buy you a drink?” Do offer sincere compliments if you feel like it. If you feel chemistry, do ask if you can call sometime and then call.  (You will win big points for actually calling.) I sincerely wish you the best of luck. You go guys!

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